To call attention to the vulnerability of seniors worldwide, the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations teamed up to launch World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), which first took place June 15, 2006. This annual observance raises the public’s awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes associated with elder abuse and neglect.
Seniors’ financial exploitation, which runs into the billions of dollars globally each year, is generally defined as any time someone misuses or takes the financial assets of a vulnerable senior to benefit themselves. This misappropriation of assets happens without the knowledge or consent of the senior who actually holds the asset.
On a global scale, seniors lose $36.5 billion per year to financial exploitation. Complaints to the National Adult Protective Services Association demonstrate how wide-reaching financial exploitation can be:
- Theft: assets, such as cash, valuables, medications or personal property, taken without knowledge, consent or authorization
- Fraud: acts of dishonestly by persons entrusted to manage assets, such as using assets for unintended uses, falsification of records, forgeries, unauthorized check writing and investment in Ponzi-type financial schemes
- Real Estate: the unauthorized sale, transfer or change to property title(s)
- Investment: moving seniors to include high-fee funds (front or back-loaded) or excessive trading activity made without knowledge or consent
Weinberg Elder Law has a special interest in protecting our most vulnerable populations from financial exploitation as well as from neglect and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
Elder Abuse Looks Like a Hate Crime
We are united in our dedication to protecting vulnerable seniors from exploitation in any form. In our mind, elder abuse resembles a hate crime. Not only is the behavior reprehensible, but it violates existing criminal law, and additional causes of actions become available to family members – all because the abuse has been committed against a vulnerable individual.
To that end, our law firm offer a range of services attuned to the specialized needs of vulnerable seniors and those who love them:
- Filing petitions for emergency guardianship and conservatorship to stop ongoing financial exploitation and other abuse.
- Advising for fiduciaries or other caregivers who have been the subject of claims of abuse.
- Reconnecting individuals with friends and family when they have been removed from their homes against their will. Worse yet, because of dementia or other cognitive impairment, some individuals do not even recognize that they have been removed from their homes and are being isolated from family and friends.
- Filing Petitions to Appoint the Conservator of the Estate of a Missing Person for individuals who have been taken across state lines.
- Filing or Defending Temporary and Permanent Protective Orders.
Solutions for rescuing and protecting vulnerable seniors who have been exploited or abused are complex. Through our experience in these matters over the years, we are uniquely qualified to help both individuals who are being abused and the family and friends who want to protect them.